What Story Do You Need to Tell?

What story do you need to tell?

What story do you need to tell?

Everyone has a story to tell. And your business or brand has a story to tell, too. You might already be telling it through the social media posts you decide to share, through the organizations you support, and through the articles you write or comment upon.

Why Do We Crave Stories?

Storytelling makes time stand still. When we hear a story, the outside world goes away during the time we are listening to that story. We want characters with positive attributes, and we want to know what happens to them. We want to care about them and we want to know what happens next.

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Every Business Has a Story

How was your business born? Did you always know what you’d do in your business life? How did you decide to do what you do now? There are probably quite a few stories intertwined in the making of your business. My business began when I started doing social media for myself, and then friends started to ask for help. One of them suggested that I do social media as a business, and I started to get some training. How did your business begin?

Buying is Emotional

Whether you’re selling a widget or a service, people buy on emotion, then justify with data. Most of us make our minds up very quickly. So having a story helps people who might otherwise be on the fence make up their minds. For instance, if I know that the local supermarket also supports a cause that is important to me, I’d be much more likely to go there.

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Politics

These days, many brands have decided to be left- or right-leaning, often with catastrophic results. The on-demand car ride service Uber, for instance, has gone to the right. In response Lyft, the other big on-demand car ride service, has gone to the left. The Uber boycott and subsequent donation by Lyft to the ACLU has people squarely on one side or the other. So far, Lyft’s move has resulted in more downloads of their app than ever before.

Telling Stories About Clients

During #digiblogchat, my weekly Twitter chat, @ChrisLema (follow him on Twitter, by the way!) put an emphasis on focusing on others. “The hero isn’t you,” he says, and I concur. Let potential clients know what they can expect working with you! A happy client story is worth his weight in gold.

Have a Happy Client Story?

Do your happy clients have positive stories to tell about your business? What do they say about your brand? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

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Comments

  1. Storytelling is as old as human relationships. And we are totally wired to relate that way. Humanizing a brand by telling your story is a way to foster connection.

  2. I think one of the harder things to do is to weave the reader/customer/audience into the story. Stories are awesome, and we love reading stories (even if they’re about brands/products), but we love stories the most where we play a part.

    Fiction draws people in for a reason—it’s interesting—but you can’t write fiction and slap it on your website. However, you can tell a story about your product that brings the customer in, that makes the customer the hero of the story, with the product/service/your business as sidekick.

    It becomes much more interesting.

    • Hi Adam,

      It’s a challenge for most of us to weave the customer into the story, for sure. And some of us have a tough time telling that story without feeling as though we’re bragging!

      I’ve heard some stories where I just knew that parts were exaggerated. For example, a business coach who said he was homeless (he’d slept in his car for a night or two) makes me go “hmm…”.

      So people do have to be careful and be truthful about their stories.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

      Carol

  3. Hi Carol

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you and Adam said. Stories are most effective when you position the customer as the hero of the story.

    Case studies can work really well if you do this correctly. Find a hero that your prospective customer can identify with. Tell their story, and show how the hero overcame their obstacle to achieve their goal. This is the classic “Hero’s Journey” described by Joseph Campbell. It’s the same journey that’s used in The Wizard of Oz or Star Wars.

    Where do you fit into this story? Well, you’re the one who helped the hero achieve their goal, of course.

    Clement

    • Hi Clement,

      That’s brilliant–I’d forgotten about Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. And most of us are familiar with the Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. Even if the customer’s journey isn’t on such an epic journey, it can be an interesting trip for all concerned.

      What wonderful ideas you have!

      Thank you,
      Carol

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